Historic U.S. Route 20


By Norm Corbin, Contributing Writer

Historic U.S. Route 20
Photo/Norm Corbin

How many of you know that Northborough’s Main Street, Route 20, is part of the longest highway in the United States? Route 20 stretches 3,365 miles from the Pacific Coast town of Newport, Ore., to Kenmore Square in Boston. Along the way, it crosses the Cascade Mountain Range in Oregon, passes through Yellowstone National Park; Casper, Wyo.; Sioux City, Iowa; Chicago, Ill.; South Bend, Ind.; Cleveland, Ohio; Erie, Penn.; and Albany, N.Y. It is part of the numbered interstate highway system developed in 1925.

The Historic Route 20 Association, based in Chester, Mass., and founded by Bryan Farr, is encouraging towns along the highway to recognize this highway as a significant historic byway. In addition to the educational programs they run, they are encouraging towns along the road to identify it as a historic road by installing Historic Route 20 signage.

The Northborough Historic District Commission approached the Massachusetts Department of Transportation regarding installing signs for Northborough. Our contact, Dean G. Alexandrou, was very enthusiastic about this idea. In short order, he had the signs manufactured and installed. You will now see two signs in Northborough, one heading east just before the Marlborough line and one heading west close to the Shrewsbury line.

For more information, visit www.historicus20.com.

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